You've probably seen a story recently about a man who ate only from McDonalds for 90 days and lost weight. The Iowa teacher came up with the idea as a project for his students. They had the job of creating meal plans that came in at 2,000 calories per day and he took on the task of eating the food and walking for 45 minutes 4-5 days a week. In the process he lost 37 lbs. He says it's a testament to how you can make healthy choices anywhere, but I think this is oversimplifying things a bit. He are my top reasons why you shouldn't go on the "McDonalds Diet."
- Weight loss does not equal healthy. With so much focus on rising levels of overweight and obesity, most have come to associate weight with health. Now, while weight is a component of health, it is not the whole story. Someone who exercises regularly and maintains a balanced, whole foods diet is far healthier than a sedentary junk-food addict who happens to be 15 pounds lighter. If you restrict your intake of ANY food you can lose weight. However, I think we can all agree that eating 1200 calories of doughnuts each day isn't a smart weight loss strategy.
- It's not real food. The offerings at McDonalds are highly processed. Even the "healthier" options contain additives that you would never use at home. If you want a burger, make it yourself or get a one from a restaurant that offers a high quality grass-fed burger with no gross extras.
- It doesn't taste that great. Eating takes up a big part of our day and what you eat should be enjoyable. Any reformed fast-food frequenter will tell you that, if they ever find themselves going through the drive-thru, it never tastes as good as they remember. When you're eating real food, the flavors are far more complex and enjoyable. Any item on the McDonalds menu can be made at home and taste much better.
- Limited choices. While the menu at a fast food restaurant may look big at first, when you're eating there all the time, you can get tired of it pretty quickly. Add in trying to choose the "healthier" options and fitting it all into a calorie goal and things are going to get boring fast. Plus, eating a variety of foods is key to being satisfied and getting a variety of nutrients.
- It's expensive! While many think of fast-food as a cheap option, I would argue it's just the opposite. You can make a tastier and healthier meal for the same or cheaper any day of the week.
What do you think about the "McDonalds Diet?" Do you think this kind of thing appeals to people, or do most understand that quality matters just as much as quantity when it comes to food? Share in the comments below!